Blackberry maker gives in, sets up messenger server in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 13, 2012

BLACKBERRY   -  The Hindu

Research and Motion, the maker of Blackberry devices, has finally set up a server in India to enable security agencies snoop into its Blackberry Messenger services. RIM had held out for more than three years but pressure from security agencies has forced the Canadian device maker to come around to agreeing with setting up a local server.

A top government official said that the RIM server was tested by the Department of Telecom and it was found to be a working solution. On the issue of intercepting e-mails passing through the Blackberry Enterprise Server, the DoT has decided to directly tap the corporate servers in India after RIM expressed its inability to set up a local server for this. There are nearly 5,000 enterprise servers in the country and DoT will ask mobile operators to provide a list of these servers in the next 15 days. The list will be shared with the Home Ministry which, in turn, will pass it on to the security agencies. This settles the four-year-old issue of accessing information passing through Blackberry devices.

Having tasted success with RIM, the Department of Telecom is now going after other messaging platforms like Nokia's intellisync e-mail, Microsoft Windows mobile active sync e-mail, Motorola's mobile messaging and Seven network mobile e-mail. Nokia had earlier announced setting up a local server for its push mail services.

On the issue of snooping into Internet-based messaging services provided by the likes of Yahoo and Gmail, it has been decided to issue an advisory that all e-mails accessed in India should be routed through servers in India. Yahoo, for example, locates all e-mail accounts registered in India under the domain within the country. But e-mails registered outside the country but accessed from here are routed through foreign servers. Government officials said that the Internet companies will be told to route all e-mails in India but since these companies do not operate under Indian licences this may not be made mandatory. On the issue of intercepting video chat services like the one provided by Skype, the officials said that an “India-centric Skype' was being set up shortly. Details of this were not given.

DoT and MHA have been trying to deal with this issue for a very long time. At a recent meeting between high ranking officials of the Government it was also decided to improve the decryption abilities of the security agencies apart from asking the service providers to enable interception.


Published on February 13, 2012
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor